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Stephen Devadoss (2022, Senior)

Dr. Stephen Devadoss is a Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics and the Emabeth Thompson Endowed Professor in the departments of Agricultural and Applied Economics Department at Texas Tech University. His nomination package presented an impressive record of achievements throughout his career as a scholar.  Here we’ll highlight the most significant contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion within his academic institution, profession, community, but also internationally. 

At Texas Tech University, Dr. Devadoss has been recognized 36 times for his graduate advising.  He has been instrumental for the publication success of his women and minority mentees including more than 100 publications with a total of 68 awards.  One of his mentees, an African female, has this to say: “Dr. Devadoss’ contribution to my progress in course and research work is enormous. More than any faculty members I know, he goes beyond the call of duty to help all his students, particularly women and minority students. This is a hallmark of a professor who exemplifies promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the agricultural economics profession.”  Another of his mentees says this: “as a member of the LGBT community attending a rural school, Dr. Devadoss was a safe faculty member with whom to talk. I have seen his heart towards helping minority students and women, often taking them under his wing and working with them, even if he was not their advisor, to ensure they succeeded in their studies and future careers.”  “Dr. Devadoss is truly the most dedicated professor I have met towards ensuring his mentees reach their full potential and succeed in the field of economics. Having him as a mentor through undergraduate and graduate studies and to this day has given me the tools to reach my goals.”  A final quote from his nomination package points at the extend of his contributions: “As a graduate student with dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, and bipolar disorder, school can be a struggle.” “Dr. Devadoss is the best kind of professor: very supportive, accommodates my disabilities, always cheerful, helps with coursework and research, and assists me inside and outside of class. As a disabled student with embarrassment asking for accommodations, Dr. Devadoss' friendly approach makes it easy to successfully work around my disability. His combination of positive yet honest regards for my well-being led me to select him as an advisor.” As a senior member of the faculty, Dr. Devadoss has also been a fierce advocate for changes to policies that discriminate against groups.

As an elected president of the Western Agricultural Economics Association, Dr. Devadoss helped women and minority faculty get elected for leadership positions.  His current research projects are about gender equity and children’s welfare.  One of them is seeking the effects of minimum wage on minority and women, in controlling poverty and crime, and promoting children’s education.  The other is looking at the effects of school meals (Food Box, Meals for K-12, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Food Subsidies) on children’s education and welfare. He is also investigating the devastating impacts of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and businesses closure on non-US citizens (particularly minority and single families with low income).

Dr. Devadoss has publicly denounced the economic implications of discriminating against women and has pointed at the lack of opportunities for girls in India where literacy rates for girls is at 60% compared to 80% literacy rates for boys.  Dr. Devadoss has offered the following approaches to improvements on this front: present to parents the importance of educating girls, add schools in rural India, and increase opportunities for women to start own businesses.